Indiana’s Statehood Bicentennial was celebrated in 2016. The remnants of that celebration can be seen all over the state in the form of 5 feet tall fiberglass bison. The in.gov website states: “Indiana Association of United Ways was the proud sponsor of the statewide Bison-tennial Public Art Project. This legacy project helped celebrate Indiana’s 200th birthday by decorating and displaying 5-foot-tall fiberglass bison with an end goal of at least one – if not a herd – of bison on display in each of Indiana’s 92 counties.” We’d seen a few around the state, and just last week we saw a newly placed one in Shelbyville.
The bison is named Balsar after the main character in The Bears Of Blue River by Shelbyville resident author Charles Major. Not sure where Balsar has been since 2016, but now the Shelby County bison grazes in front of the old Porter Pool Bath House which was built in 1930. (Read about the current use of the Porter building here.)